Sunday, August 30, 2009


Hello Everybody! Ms. Waxy Dragon here.
Now as a dragon (for those of you who do not believe that I am just one amongst many avatars of an avid Internet surfer) I am as much in touch with the animal kingdom as I am the Human world.
But have you ever wondered about some of the other critters within this realm?

Take Dolphins for example.
Now at first I was curious how a marine mammal could play a land based game like football, despite the fact that they were based in Miami.
But Dolphins are a lot smarter than you think!
Look at it from their perspective for a moment. Within a few weeks of moving to an aquarium, they've trained the people working there to stand on the edge of their pool and throw them fish!

Dogs are considered Man's best friend, but does Man return the favor?
After all, what kind of a friend would have someone "fixed" when they're not broken?
Of course Groucho Marx is quoted as saying, "Outside of a dog, a book is Man's best friend, and inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."

Felines on the other hand are a totally different story.
They lay around the house all day practically doing nothing except eating and sleeping. Sometimes the most excitement they have is moving from wherever they were napping to and from the food dish.
But what is with that attitude they possess? Just because they lay around everywhere they think they own the place. It's kind of embarrassing when in fact the dragon of the house actually owns the place!

But believe it or not, the most human like member of the animal kingdom is actually the spider.
I know one pair of mated spiders who are actually going to a marriage counselor right now.
Mrs. Spider is always complaining that her husband never pays any attention to her because he's always too busy surfing the web!

Well, that's all the time I have for this weekend folks!
See you next time for more Sunday Funnies!--wd.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


*Tropical Storm Danny is going out to sea on a course similar to Tropical Storm Bill. However it will pass closer to the New England coastline, dumping a lot more rain on the area than his predecessor.
*Senator Edward Kennedy passed away earlier this week. While the memorial and funeral services have been held as of this post, a replacement for the remainder of his existing Senatorial term has yet to be named by the Massachusetts state governor. Several pundits have already been speculating upon how his absence will affect the forthcoming Congressional session starting this September.
*Today would have been singer Michael Jackson's 51st birthday. While fans continue to mourn and honor his memory, authorities have officially declared his recent death a homicide, although no suspect in the case has been formally charged yet as of this post.
*Former kidnap victim Jaycee Lee Dugard has suddenly reappeared. Missing since 1991, the now 29 year old woman appeared at a police station earlier this week. Authorities are holding her kidnappers to appear before a judge for formal charges to be made.
*When is a sports athlete NOT a sports athlete? According to some, professional golfer Ryan Moore is not one from the perspective of not accepting product endorsements to help cover his tour expenses. But Moore maintains his position of not wanting to be a "walking billboard" and would rather concentrate upon the game.
*And this week also marks the 70th anniversary of the initial release of the MGM classic movie Gone With The Wind.

For more news at any time, just scroll down to the IN OTHER NEWS feature at the bottom of the screen.


While some of us are experiencing a soggy weekend thanks to Tropical Storm Danny, let's keep our wits sharp and dry with a few puzzles.

What phrase is suggested by the following image?

007 007

What, if anything, do the following have in common?
{The Toronto Blue Jays, Greg Evans}

The answers will appear next weekend. But for now, the results from August 22, 2009:

Trick question. The only former Presidents who have not been buried somewhere within the United States of America after their passing are the ones who are still alive: Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush.

The missing vegetables, and the new words are:
1. Fin + BEET = Benefit
2. Bile + KALE = Likeable

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


With all the misinformation springing up all over the place regarding the Health Care Reform Act, a lot of pundits fear how this could effect passage of the bill when Congress resumes its activities after Labor Day 2009 and puts the measure to an official vote.

For the straight truth about just what IS in the Health Care Reform Act, please go to or
for actual, ACCURATE information.

A public service message from The Free Choice e-zine staff.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Well folks, what do you think? After all Dear Readers, it is your e-zine. We just "work" here.

The Free Choice e-zine will still have the same great features you already enjoy, as proven by today's installment of The Sunday Funnies. And for those wondering, the person behind the Ms. Waxy Dragon avatar sends me lots of potential jokes every week. I just post the "best" ones.

Besides our other features (The Puzzle Corner and The Week In Review every Saturday), what else would you like to see?
Leave a comment at the end of this post.

And you can contribute too!
Just send your submissions to me at and I'll sort through them all as they come in.

Take care.
Lee Houston, Junior
Editor-In-Chief: The Free Choice e-zine


Hello everybody! Ms. Waxy Dragon here.
Last Sunday, I discussed how observant children actually are.
But did you know that you can learn a few things just by reading another person's t-shirt?
For example...

One person wore a shirt that said: "I don't suffer from insanity. I love every minute of it."
Now there's a person who really enjoys life!

But then I saw another t-shirt that said: "I used to have a handle on life, but it broke."
Well, I do know the phone number of a good repairman...

There was a couple walking down the street wearing similar shirts. One said "Five for Fighting" and the other said "Foo Fighters".
Now my question is: What is foo? And why does it require five to fight it?

I saw a shirt that said: "Beam me up, Scotty! There's no intelligent life down here!"
Well I can assure you right now folks, some of the other planets aren't all that great either!

I did see one shirt that said: "Procrastinate NOW!" but doesn't that kind of defeat the objective?

And there was one t-shirt worn by a Senior Citizen who definitely had their act together. It said: "I do not iron my clothes. If I'm not wrinkle free, why should they be?"

I'll see you next weekend with more Sunday Funnies!-wd.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


*In his new book, former Homeland Security advisor Tom Ridge claims that he was pressured to raise the terrorist threat level in order to improve George W. Bush's odds against Senator John Kerry during the 2004 Presidential campaign. While other "in the know" Republicans and campaign personnel are rebutting this claim, it is an interesting revelation in light of the fact that former Vice-President Dick Cheney is now criticizing the 2001-2009 administration he was a part of.
*How do you feel President Barack Obama is doing right now? With the two biggest issues being the current Health Care Reform debate and the ongoing Federal Budget Deficit, a new poll claims that Obama's popularity rate is now lower than it was this past Spring. But people who still support the President to admit that he is trying to keep his campaign promises and tackle the problems that face this country.
*Should Hawaii secede from the United States and become an independent nation again? There is a grassroots movement afoot in the Aloha State to attempt this, although if you ask me, it's kind of ironic that it starts now on the 50th anniversary of Hawaii becoming the 50th state.
*Hurricane Bill thankfully is becoming a non-issue except to air and sea travellers. It's current path will keep it out to sea away from most land masses as it heads northward.
*And a concerned citizens group has won permission from a judge to start legal proceedings in order to get a supervisor to oversee any money earned by Nadya Suleman's eight children as the media-dubbed "Octo-Mom" gets her own reality television program this fall with her offspring center stage.

For more news at any time, just scroll down to the IN OTHER NEWS feature at the bottom of the screen.


Okay puzzle fans. Let's get those little grey cells working and try to solve this weekend's enigmas.

How many former Presidents of the United States of America are NOT buried somewhere within the United States?

It's back for an encore! Time for another round of "The Case of the Missing Vegetables!"
Each word below, added to the letters of a specific vegetable, can be shuffled around to form a new word.
Do you know the answers?
1. FIN

The answers will appear next weekend, but for now, the results from August 15, 2009:

The longest word possible with only 1 vowel? Depends upon how often you use the vowel.
If only once, then the word is STRENGTH.
If multiple times, then the word is MISSISSIPPI.

Although the tune hints at a political viewpoint, the lyric is actual from Heart and Soul by T'Pau, circa 1987.
The actual verse is:
Somehow, I lost my way
Looking to see something in your eyes
But love will never compromise
Now this is the politic of lies...

Friday, August 21, 2009


Now, on one hand, the outcome of the current Fantastic Four storyline "Doom's Master", had a couple of predictable conclusions.
1. The person believed dead in the title turned out to still be alive.
2. The big event (the wedding of Ben Grimm, aka The Thing) that the subplot had been building towards in the last few issues didn't happen after all.

I am not surprised by these results, for this was Mark Millar's last issue as writer and the one thing he could not do was shake up the series' status quo for too long.
However, there were a couple of surprises along the way.
1. How the presumed deceased actually survived.
2. Why the big event in the subplot never happened.

Yet while overall this issue was an enjoyable read, I do have one major quibble:
If Millar wanted to focus on Valeria and develop the character during his tenure, no problem. But Franklin was absent without leave (or story explanation) for most of the last two issues, and nobody either within the story or on the editorial side of the page seemed to have noticed! Despite everything going on, don't you think the parents (Reed Richards, aka Mr. Fantastic and his wife Sue, aka the Invisible Woman) would have noticed the absence of their oldest child?
Hopefully the new creative team that takes over with issue 570 will be more alert about their cast.

The above is just my opinion folks.
Would you like to see more comic book reviews? Just leave a comment either way.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


An Editorial

Recently, the IBM corporation announced that it is working on refining the next generation of voice recognition software.
WATSON, the computer currently using the new program, is tentatively scheduled to receive a major field test when it competes on the quiz show Jeopardy! sometime during the Spring of 2010, akin to when the IBM computer "Big Blue" participated in chess competitions.
Now I am all for developing technology to the next level, but this news leaves me scratching my head in wonder.
While "Big Blue" was able to logically process all the variables in something as complex as a chess game, it must be noted that its knowledge of chess was based upon practically every professionally played game on record being inputted into its memory banks along with detailed reports of all the Grand Masters of the game for analysis of any given move from any perspective at any moment.
The program for the new computer will have a similar objective. WATSON (named after the location of the IBM research center) is being developed to know and recognize any possible nuance of human speech, from slang to dialect and every variable in between, and respond accordingly.
Now I can foresee all kinds of practical applications for voice recognition software (such as helping the blind) even without getting into the realms of science-fiction programs like the Star Trek franchise.
But to compete on Jeopardy?
It has been said that a computer is only as good as the people behind its programming and the person at the keyboard.
WATSON is certain to have numerous data bases on file, which might give it an unfair advantage against other contestants.
But provided the voice recognition software works as expected, will it be as fast on the signaling button compared to the other (human) players, let alone able to supply the correct question within the allotted time?
While a specific date has not been finalized, the computer is scheduled to compete against former College and Tournament of Champions winners. There are even (unconfirmed at this time) reports that all-time Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings might compete against WATSON as well.

Whatever the outcome, it will definitely be interesting to watch.

For more information, visit


Soon the United States Post Office will be issuing a set of 20 stamps honoring what has been called "The Golden Age of Television".
Priced at the current mailing rate of 44 cents, the series will be commemorating the following shows:

*The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet (The Nelsons)
*Alfred Hitchcock Presents
*The Dinah Shore Show
*The Ed Sullivan Show
*George Burns and Gracie Allen
*The Honeymooners
*Hopalong Cassidy (western hero)
*The Howdy Doody Show
*I Love Lucy
*Kulka, Fran, and Ollie
*The Lone Ranger (and Tonto)
*Perry Mason
*The Phil Silvers Show (aka: Sgt. Bilko and/or You'll Never Get Rich)
*The Red Skelton Show
*The Texaco Star Theater (with host "Uncle" Milton Berle)
*The Tonight Show (with originating host Steve Allen)
*The Twilight Zone (with creator Rod Serling), and
*You Bet Your Life (with host Groucho Marx)

The 20 stamps are to be issued in black and white to mimic the original broadcast medium.

For more information on this or any other postal service or product, just go to

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Hello Everybody! Ms. Waxy Dragon here.
Now although I am just a five year old baby dragon (unless you believe those tales about me being just one of many avatars of an avid Internet user), like any child, I am always curious about the world around me.
And I wonder about things, such as:

Why does Goofy stand erect while Pluto remains on all fours? They're both dogs!

If Wile E. Coyote had enough money to buy all that Acme stuff, why didn't he just buy dinner?

Did you ever notice that when you blow in a dog's face, they gets mad at you, but when you take him on a car ride, they always stick their head out the window?

Does pushing the elevator button more than once make it arrive faster?

Does the name Pavlov ring a bell?

And, believe it or not, children are also observant too! For example:

Entropy isn't what it used to be.

A waist is a difficult thing to mind.

Anything free is worth what you pay for it.

Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

Editing is a rewording activity.

We should stamp out and eradicate superfluous redundancy.

There's no sense being pessimistic. It wouldn't work anyway.

Thanks for reading, and have a great week.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


*New information recently come to light in the investigation of the recent air collision over the Hudson River reveals that one air traffic control officer was too busy making a personal call, and thought they could do so because the supervisor was not even in the room at the time of the crash.
*Having served the prison sentence for his participation in dog fighting activities, football player Michael Vicks has now signed with the Philadelphia Eagles.
*Famed guitarist Les Paul passed away this week, as did Special Olympics founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver.
*This month marks the closest Mars will ever be to Earth, and is easily visible in the night sky as the moon.
*The Perseid meteor shower was this week.
*This week marks the 40th anniversary of the original Woodstock music festival, and I think we could all use a little more peace and tranquility in our lives. Don't you?

But the biggest news item this week is the on going debates across the country about Health Care reform, with misinformation springing up all over the place.
A lot of pundits fear how this could effect passage of the bill when Congress resumes its activities after Labor Day and put the measure to an official vote.
For the straight truth about just what IS in the Health Care reform act, please go to ; ; or for actual, ACCURATE information.

For more news at any time, just scroll down to the IN OTHER NEWS feature at the bottom of the screen.


A new weekend brings new puzzles. Enjoy!

What is the longest word you can think of with just ONE vowel?

With political debates heating up across the country on the subject of health care reform, what song actually has the lyric:
Now this is the politic of lies...
And no, it is not about the insurance company lobbyists and Republicans against health care reform, although a lot of people do think that the two groups are one and the same.

The answers will appear next weekend.
And now the answers to last weekend's mysteries...

Without crossing over into the other hand's territory on a keyboard, with the left alone you can type STEWARDESSES and with the right LOLLIPOP.

While a long and diverse list, all {Walt Disney; Bob Hope; Doctor Martin Luther King, Junior; Dwight David Eisenhower; Harry S. Truman; Jackie Robinson; and Bing Crosby} at some point in their lives were newspaper boys !

Thursday, August 13, 2009


News with Editorial Commentary...

Recently, the names Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz have been released as two more Major League Baseball players who have allegedly (I say this for both legal reasons and the fact that the actual results have not been offucially released to the public yet) flunked a 2003 drug test conducted by MLB officials in conjunction with federal authorities, as is supposed to be listed in what is commonly referred to as The Mitchell Report.
Since then, for the most part Ramirez has exercised his right to remain silent (especially in light of having recently completed a 50 game suspension for testing positive for an anti-steroid side effects chemical), while Ortiz exercised his legal rights and questioned what he was supposed to have tested positive for.
Ortiz held a press conference on August 8th in conjunction with MLB Players' Union counsel Michael Weiner and together they revealed the following facts:
*Although 104 players were allegedly tested, the pre-test agreement was only for a maximum of 96.
*Based upon the quality of testing procedures in 2003, some legal substances could have created a false positive reading during the test.
*Every player who tested positive was given a second test seven days later to verify the results of the first test, to either verify or disprove the previous test results.
The press conference also raised the following questions:
*Who has been leaking confidential information from a sealed Congressional record? For The Mitchell Report has yet to be officially released.
*How many players were actually tested in 2003, and even if it was the full contingent of 96, who is saying 104, and why add 8 extra players?
*Are the leaked results from the first test or the second? And do the results of the two tests concur with each other?
*Just who is actually guilty of taking steroids and who was only taking something that created a false positive reading?
Some of the previously leaked names have admitted their guilt, and allegedly (this said for legal reasons and the fact there are no officially public accessible results from more recent tests) are clean now.
But I have a few questions of my own.
Who is right?
Who is wrong?
And who can you trust in the current situation for accurate information?
Only time will tell.
But I do stand by my previous statement on the subject, although obviously a bit amended in light of recent events:
If a player is found guilty of taking illegal performance enhancing drugs and said test results are verified as accurate, then that player should be stripped of ALL honors, awards, contract bonuses, etc.; earned during the verified time of use.
This should be applicable to any player in any sport!
There are (young) people in the world who look up to athletes as role models, and the action of taking illegal substances does not set a good example for the players of the future.

For further information about the Ortiz/Weiner press conference, you can go here:

or to your favorite (sports) news information source(s).

Sunday, August 9, 2009


Hello everybody. Ms. Waxy Dragon here!
Now, in July 26th's Sunday Funnies, I started discussing whether or not jokes should be updated, using Bud Abbot and Lou Costello's classic routine "Who's on first?" as an example.
If needed, I'll wait a moment while everyone checks out that previous post in the archives.

(Hums to herself a minute...)

Okay, everyone up to date?

Now then, let's look at another example this weekend: Whether or not animals can talk?
I'm not discussing anything related to any version of Doctor Doolittle, for in that situation, the good Doctor is talking with the animals in their own tongues and everything is just translated into English for the benefit of the audience.
Nor am I talking about the avian species that actually can speak to some extent, or even the situation where a person knows an animal can speak, but must keep that knowledge a secret like Francis the Talking Mule or Mister Ed, the horse. If you don't know what I'm talking about, just Google them to find out.
Instead, I'm discussing the humor based upon trying to convince someone who has not heard an animal speak that the animal DID speak, like the poor guy who kept trying to convince people that the (later named Michigan J.) Frog did actually sing during the classic Merrie Melodies cartoon "One Froggy Evening" (circa 1955).

There is an animated gag where a guy takes a dog before a talent agent because the canine can allegedly talk. After a couple of questions where the answer is a standard dog sound like:
"What's on top of a house?
"Woof!" replies the dog, for roof.
The routine ends with the guy asking the dog:
"Who's the greatest baseball player of all time?"
To which the dog allegedly responds "Woth!", for Babe Ruth.
At which point the talent agent kicks both of them out of his office, usually literally, and then the dog looks up at the man with these big, sad soulful eyes and goes:
"Do you think I should have said DiMaggio?"

I have never seen anyone try to update that routine until the June 23, 2009 installment of Zits by Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman.
Pierce tries to convince his friend Jeremy that he has a talking chicken by asking the bird:
"What's the President's name?"
To which the chicken clucks "Barack!"
Jeremy walks off in disbelief, leaving the reader to wonder whether or not the chicken actually made a comment about Michelle Obama afterwards.

Now in this case, it's funny and original, from the perspective that no one (to my knowledge) has ever tried updating that routine before.

And if you still do not believe that animals can talk, just remember that you've spent the last couple of minutes reading a post written by five year old baby dragon, unless you believe all that baloney about me being just one of many avatars of an avid Internet user.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


*Today marks the 40th anniversary of the initial release of The Beatles' classic album Abbey Road.
*Sonia Sotomayor has been sworn in as the newest Supreme Court Justice.
*Bill Clinton lead the negotiations leading to the successful release of two American journalists held by North Korea on espionage charges.
*The Health Care reform issue continues to be debated on and off Capitol Hill.
*Due to its popularity, the Cash for Clunkers program has received additional funding.
*And movie director John Hughes (The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller's Day Off) passed away due to a heart attack August 6th.

There has been a lot in the news once more about both the Steroids Scandal in Major League Baseball and a Republican sponsored movement afoot to oust President Barack Obama on the grounds that his birth certificate was allegedly faked because he is not a native American.
The Free Choice e-zine plans to cover these stories in more depth as the facts come to light.

For more news at any time, just scroll down to our IN OTHER NEWS feature at the bottom of the screen.


Okay puzzle fans.
Let's see if you can solve this week's mysteries.

Those who have taken typing lessons know that the keyboard is generally divided in half, with each hand responsible for a side.
Your question is: what is the longest word each hand can type without crossing into the other hand's territory?

The following group seems to be pretty diverse, yet they all had ONE thing in common during their lifetimes! Do you know what it is?
Our group:
{Walt Disney; Bob Hope; Doctor Martin Luther King, Junior; Dwight David Eisenhower; Harry S. Truman; Jackie Robinson; Bing Crosby}

The answers will appear next weekend. But for now, the results from August 1, 2009's Puzzle Corner:

Music fans know Ernest Evans professionally as Chubby Checker.

Since the same line appeared twice, the correct answer is "To forgive and forget" not "Forgive and forget".

Sunday, August 2, 2009


Welcome to the first (Inter)National "Don't Worry!" Day!
The Free Choice e-zine decided to initiate this annual event to try and promote self awareness as to the hazards of stress upon the human body.
Unfortunately, I can speak from personal experience in regards to that, for I do suffer from high blood pressure, which led to other health problems I am dealing with.

The first Sunday of August was chosen for a couple of reasons:
1. There is not already an established holiday in this month.
2. There will be enough stress upon the horizon amongst families trying to prepare for the coming school year, especially those with students heading off to college.
3. It's the middle of summer. Memorial Day unofficially kicks off the Summer season. Labor Day unofficially ends it, with Father's Day in June and of course the Fourth of July.
4. If Mad magazine can establish National Gorilla Suit Day...

Stress, and the problems there of, have been a part of life since the dawn of time. But since the written word has come into existence, humanity has tried to deal with the situation.
Bobby McFerrin sings "Don't worry, be happy."
Douglas Adams has right on the cover of The Hitchhikers' Guide To The Galaxy "Don't Panic!" within the books.
And imagine how much a professional psychologist would be charging you by the hour for this advice!

And while the first Sunday of August will be always be (Inter)National "Day as far as The Free Choice e-zine is concerned, you should do your best to try to avoid stress, or at least minimize its effects upon you EVERY DAY!
So kick back, relax a bit, and regroup before facing life again.
For taking a break from all your worries sure would help a lot...



Good day folks! Ms. Waxy Dragon here on the first (Inter)National "Don't Worry" Day with some jokes for everyone to kick back and relax with.

One day at school, little Max was talking to his best friend. “David, have you heard the joke about the garbage truck?”
“No I haven’t,” replied David.
"Don't worry,” said Max, “it's only a load of rubbish."

Why don't mummies take vacations? They're too afraid to relax and unwind.

Doctor, Doctor, I've just swallowed a clock!
Don't worry: there's no cause for alarm.

Doctor, something is seriously wrong with me. Some days I feel like a tee-pee and other days I feel like a wig-wam.
Relax! You're just two tents.

Do you think we should swim here? I heard there were crocodiles.
Don't worry, the sharks scared them away.

While all the above were told in jest, stress is not healthy for you, whether you're human or dragon. It can lead to high blood pressure, a possible stroke, or worse.
Hence, starting an annual "Don't Worry!" Day.
After all, if Mad magazine can initiate National Gorilla Suit Day...

Take it easy everybody, and I'll see you next Sunday for more SUNDAY FUNNIES.

Saturday, August 1, 2009


*Unusually high waves, caused by the tides having less storms deter them, are giving surfing enthusiasts both concerns and challenges along California shores, for the abnormally higher tides are more difficult to surf, causing safety issues and keeping life guards busy.
*A final vote on any Health Care reform might not come until September, but President Barack Obama's popularity approval rating seems to be slipping based upon the belief of some that he is spreading himself thin trying to do too much to soon. But while the President does have one of the more difficult jobs in the free world, you do have to admit that he and his administration are at least trying to address the issues facing this country and the world.
*Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomeyer passed the Judicial Committee screening and awaits the official swearing in ceremony.
*And in sports: Alberto Contador won the 2009 Tour De France.

For more news at any time, just scroll down to the IN OTHER NEWS feature at the bottom of the screen.

Tomorrow is the first annual (Inter)National "Don't Worry" Day!


Since tomorrow is the first annual (Inter)National "Don't Worry" Day, I thought it would be best to take things a little easier this weekend.

In music, what is Ernest Evan's professional name?

Can you name the familiar phrase portrayed by the following?

give get give get give get give get
give get give get give get give get

The answers will appear next weekend. But for now, the results from July 25th's Puzzle Corner:

Group 1: Crystal Gayle and Loretta Lynn are sisters.
Group 2: Gayle, Lynn, and Patty Loveless are cousins.

Jules VERNE is considered by some to be the father of what we know today as science fiction.
It took a lot of NERVE to trail blaze into a new genre.